The RISC-V open standard instruction set architecture (ISA) has come a long way since it was introduced in August 2014, and according to RISC-V International, the architecture has already been used inside over a billion chips. But this is only the beginning, as the organization forecasts the technology to land into 16 billion chips by 2030.
At the ongoing RISC-V Summit, Calista Redmond, the chief executive of RISC-V International, demonstrated a slide that forecasts RISC-V adoption to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 40% in the coming years. As a result, by 2030, the instruction set architecture will be used inside 16 billion system-on-chips, which is a massive increase from around 1 billion so far. The actual prediction comes from the SHD Group, which is set to make its RISC-V report available in December.
“We are already in billions of cores around the world, and some analysts have even pointed out that it is getting hard to find any new design starts that do not include RISC-V,” said Redmond. “RISC-V is the most profound technical revolution of our time.”
RISC-V is widely used for microcontrollers today. For example, Qualcomm uses RISC-V for microcontrollers that accompany its mobile system-on-chips. However, the technology is expanding rapidly, so we are seeing companies like Meta, Intel, Tenstorrent, and Ventana develop RISC-V-based solutions for artificial intelligence and high-performance computing. Over time, the technology will expand even further, for example, to GPUs, like with Imagination and Venata’s nascent GPU program.
To make RISC-V-based processors competitive against those powered by Arm and x86 architectures, RISC-V needs a more robust software and hardware ecosystem. Apparently, both are developing at a rapid pace. Currently, RISC-V is supported by over 4,000 software development companies from across the world, and there are plenty of motherboards aimed at software and hardware designers available from the industry.